Summer is upon us, and with it, longer daylight hours, a few three-day weekends and hopefully a bit of time off. Whether it be beachside, poolside, or just out back on a lawn chair, now is the time to take advantage of those extra moments and get your read on. Reading has some serious, scientifically proven perks to health and happiness, especially when it comes to good old-fashioned, printed books. From increasing your intelligence to helping you relax, there are a myriad of benefits ready to be reaped, and the good news is, they can be yours for next to nothing. In this issue, we’ve done all the groundwork for you: we’ve laid out the pros of being a bookworm and created a summer reading list, and even offered a few methods for getting your hands on this wealth of knowledge for free (or close to it). We’ve left you no excuse. Read on, and then, read on.
The benefits of being a bookworm are numerous. If you need some extra motivation to pick up a book, check these out:
• It makes you smarter. Studies show that reading increases intelligence, expands your vocabulary, and even increases your brainpower, improving memory function and speed.
• It helps you relax. Studies show that reading can be a serious stress-buster. Research suggests that exercising your imagination and exploring new worlds through words may reduce stress by as much as 68 percent–that’s more than a bath! Bonus: it’s healthier than a drink and cheaper than a yoga membership.
• It helps your sleep. Ever laid awake, worried about finances or family or the future? Yeah, we’ve all been there. In trying financial times, often our sleep suffers the most. Creating a bedtime ritual like reading signals to your body that it’s time to sleep, and can actual create a physiological response that makes you sleepy. Compare this to screen time, which is proven to disturb your shuteye, and we have a clear winner.
• It boosts your imagination. When we read, we are able to see things we know from a different angle, and imagine things we’ve never known or considered before. Our brain makes connections, links cause and effect, and thus expands our thinking. The more you read, the more connections you’re able to make, forming new solutions and answers – potentially to your financial problems.
• It improves your communication skills. Communication is one of the most important tools we have in life. Readers develop a more solid foundation for communication, understanding more, listening more, and in turn, improving connection with other people.
• It saves you money. Reading is one of the least expensive forms of entertainment available. Instead of spending $20 on a night at the movies, you could just stay home and read a great book.
Summer Reading List: Below are some great reads for anyone with more to learn about their personal finances (which is everyone). Don’t forget to mix these up with a few novels and/or pleasure reads – those are important, too!
• Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By by Cary Siegal. The author originally wrote this book to pass on good money management skills to his five children. Since most high schools and colleges do not teach students even the basics of money management, this book features eight important lessons focusing on 99 principles that will quickly and memorably enhance any individual’s money management acumen.
• Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson. This is a go-to resource for learning about investing, budgeting, debt, taxes – everything you will need to know about personal finance and how to successfully manage your money
• The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. Based on the principle that wealthy people didn’t become wealthy by acting that way, Stanley and Danko lay out the seven simple rules to follow to become wealthy.
• The Truth About Money by Rick Edelman. Edelman provides a comprehensive look at everything about personal finance. But it’s not just numbers and calculations: It’s a roadmap to help you understand your money and finances.
• The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also a grounded and uplifting hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health.